Remember when attorney Jack Thompson got disbarred while making false statements in his never ending quest to get Grand Theft Auto blamed for all the problems in society? Those were funny times and it seemed that Thompson would be the biggest idiot in the world when it comes to video games and their influence on the minds of human beings. But alas, we were wrong. We now have an even bigger cause for pointing out the idiocy of some people thanks to Fox News.
The game under fire this time is Bulletstorm, the action oriented first-person shooter game from developers Epic Games and publishers Electronic Arts. Bulletstorm was recently declared by Fox News to be, and I quote, “the worst game in the world”. A bold statement considering the game doesn’t come out for another couple of weeks. So apparently the revolution in Egypt wasn’t as important as trying to scare parents into thinking their child will become a sadistic sociopath if they allow them to play this game.
The game’s violence is not the primary “controversy” here, probably because starting an upheaval over video game violence is as useless as buying a camera for Ray Charles. No the main cause for”concern” about this game is the “Skill Shot” system, which rewards players extra points for uniquely dispatching their enemies with the names of the skill shots having names with double-meanings when used in reference to sexual acts.
“The in-game awards system, called Skill Shots, ties the ugly, graphic violence into explicit sex acts: ‘topless’ means cutting a player in half, while ‘gangbang’ means killing multiple enemies at once. And with kids as young as 9 playing such games, the experts FoxNews.com spoke with were nearly universally worried that video game violence may be reaching a fever pitch.”
Oh, no, did you hear that? “Experts” are “universally worried” about…….words. And not just words, puns nonetheless. I hope nobody ever gets on a game via Xbox or PlayStation’s online services, they may hear some naughty phrases just like that. I think it needs to be mentioned that not every Skill Shot is a sexual reference, unless the terms “Burn” and “Juggler” are something I have never heard about.
If you were wondering what kind of “experts” were contacted, Fox spoke with “psychologist and book author” Carol Lieberman who was quoted as saying what is probably the most asinine, idiotic, ridiculous and absurd statements I have ever heard of as to how video games, even the ones that have not been released yet, cause rape. No, you didn’t read that wrong, they cause rape. Her actual quote is as follows:
“The increase in rapes can be attributed in large part to the playing out of [sexual] scenes in video games.”
I find it very hard to believe that a woman who can come up with something so outlandish is qualified to understand and diagnose your problems. I mean, are you kidding me? Video games cause rape? It is bad enough that she even uttered these words but even worse is the fact that she provided absolutely no evidence whatsoever to support her claim. That is top notch journalism right there, folks.
Here is an even better example of the absurdity brought to you by Rock Paper Shotgun. Rock Paper Shotgun pointed out that Fox News asked M2 Research’s Billy Pidgeon a ridiculously leading question and also cherry-picked his answer to make their point. Below is the question, Pidgeon’s full answer and the answer that made it into the article:
Fox News: Bulletstorm glorifies violence for fun and extra points. You can shoot the bad guys in the private parts for points, get drunk and shoot for more points, throw a chain with spikes and hook enemies. But some of the worst parts are actually related to the names for the skill shots and the in-game dialog , which is definitely profane. What should be done about these games?”
Billy Pidgeon: The ESRB ratings and the market have all the control necessary to limit the availability of games with objectionable content for sale to minors. The current rating system determines who can buy a game based on content, and retailers typically strongly support these ratings. Games with violent or objectionable content will be rated T for Teen (13+), M for Mature (17+) or AO for Adults Only (18+). Bulletstorm is rated M and retailers will not be likely to sell the games to purchasers without ID certifying age.”
“The market will favor games with quality gameplay and content, so if Bulletstorm is a good game, gamers seventeen and older will likely buy it. Games without sufficient quality of gameplay tha include highly objectionable violent or sexual content often pump up the level of this kind of content to gain media attention. This tactic typically fails, as can be seen in the poor sales performance of titles such as BMX XXX and Postal.”
Overall, we have yet another extremist media group that is trying to censor something they do not know or understand. The only way for a violent video game like Bulletstorm to reach the hands of an underage child is if someone of age, like their parent, buys it for them, in which case blame should rest on that person, not the person who made the game. Do we penalize drug companies that make prescription pills that get into the hands of people without a prescription or do we punish the drug dealer that sold it to them? I think you get my point.
If they are going to try to censor games. then this censorship needs to be taken into account for all forms of media including movies, television, books and music. But that isn’t likely to happen now, is it?
Source: Comics Alliance – Fox News Declares ‘Bulletstorm’ Worst Game In The World Two Weeks Before It Comes Out